Norway vs England: Phil Neville sweats over defensive duo ahead of World Cup quarter-final clash

Phil Neville has revealed that England’s central defensive pair are both doubts for the Women’s World Cup quarter-final tie against Norway.

The two teams will do battle in Le Havre for a place in the semi-final against either the USA or France.

Chelsea’s Millie Bright is struggling with illness, while captain Steph Houghton is still suffering the effects of Alexandra Takounda’s late horror tackle in England’s 3-0 win against Cameroon.

"Both Steph Houghton and Millie Bright are major doubts,” Neville told the press ahead of the match.

“Steph because of the tackle and Millie because of a virus which is going round the camp. It's just a simple virus she has picked up in the last couple of days and she is in her room recovering at the moment."

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Alexandra Takounda's dangerous challenge on Steph Houghton. (Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)
Millie Bright is also a doubt for the Norway clash. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Either or both could be replaced by Leah Williamson and Abby McManus as England eye a place in the semi-final for the second tournament in succession.

And the former Manchester United and Everton player is confident both Williamson and McManus can adequately deputise for their colleagues, if required.

"I would put my life on Abbie and Leah going in there and doing well, if we call upon them,” Neville added.

“Hopefully Millie will be fit but at the moment she's a doubt."

England are in the last eight following a bad-tempered round of 16 clash against Cameroon.

The African side were involved in many heated incidents, including the tackle on Houghton, causing Neville to accuse them of ‘shaming football’.

Norway, meanwhile, made the quarter-final tie courtesy of a penalty shootout victory over Australia following a 1-1 draw after extra time.

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